In my last post I talked about a game changing method that really sparked my recovery. Something else that helped me recover was a youth peer support group.

Prior to attending the group, my parents and doctors would comfort and reassure me that what was happening to me has happened to many, and I was not alone. However, in my mind I thought that what I was going through was very different, and that no one went through anything even close. I felt that others who experienced a mental illness were more capable than me and were doing a lot more than I was.

It wasn’t until I went to a youth peer-support group that I truly realized I was not alone. There, I met people my age going through very similar occurrences. Some were worse off than me; some were better. There were some humorous characters that made me laugh, and some very quiet ones that made me wonder what was going on in their minds. That was the first time since I had been diagnosed that I felt I belonged somewhere. It was so comforting to realize that I was not alone. I loved the group so much that I continued to go to every single meeting for the next couple of months. Since I didn’t have much going on in my life, I used to look forward to getting to meet with the group every two weeks.

If you’re going through something, I would suggest trying to find a peer support group in your area. Even if you’re shy, you don’t have to speak – you can just tell them that you want to sit and listen. It really helped me, so it’s worth a try.

About Elena B.

Elena is a 21 year-old college student, sales associate, and volunteer living with depression and generalized & social anxiety. Formally diagnosed with social anxiety in high school, Elena has struggled with it for the majority of her life. During her first year of university she experienced high levels of anxiety and had her first major depressive episode, which was followed by another the following year. Since then she has been recovered and focuses on her recovery daily. She currently runs a tumblr blog, where she shares inspirational quotes, images, and tips to help others with their recovery. Follow Elena’s story on HMC’s Supportive Minds Blog.

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